CHASKA, Minn. ' Round 1 of the 91st PGA Championship saw its share of big shots and big-shot players.
Big Al Quiros hit driver off the deck on his second shot, 295 into the wind, at the par-5 11th and rolled it on the front edge. With Tiger Woods and Padraig Harrington on the putting green. At first, said Harrington, 'I thought somebody must have chipped out and hit their third shot up there. Tiger was just as mystified. You know how big a hit that is? I mean whats this hole playing? 606 into the wind. Uphill tee shot. Quiros apologized for hitting into the two titans. Nothing to apologize for, said Tiger. Thats absolutely phenomenal. Harrington gushed, Thats got to be two of the biggest hits ever in golf. Quiros shot 3 under, one back of Padraig and two back of Tiger.
Padraig made as much of an opening statement as Tiger.
Eighty-eight at Buick and now a WD with a bad back at Hazeltine for John Daly. Hes lost almost 90 pounds. A doctor friend of mine said at 600 calories a day, you starve the mind and the body. He needs to get well. I hope he does.
I asked Quiros how he hits the ball so far. Probably because Im 190 centimeters and 83 kilos, he said. Conversion comes later in this piece.
Golf in the Olympics is a homerun for the sport. It will grow the game in ways we cant imagine. Jeev Milkha Singhs father ran the 100 in the 1960 summer Games in Rome. I asked Jeev what would mean more in his native India, a gold medal or a major. The gold medal because the general public relates to the Olympics more than golf, he said. And thats the case in most countries around the world.
Tiger cracked that he used to be able to move the ball as long as Quiros. Not any more, though. I just plod my way around and shoot 67!
Rugby made the initial Olympic cut with golf. Id love to play for the rugby team, Tiger said. Hes big enough and tough enough.
Harrington on the Olympics: Its only once every four years so in time it could become the premier event in golf.'
Mickelsons putting was a disaster on Day 1. He acknowledged it, and spent about an hour on the putting green, the last one off at sunset.
From afar it may not get the nerves jangling, but consider this announcer call at the 2016 Olympic Games. This puttto win the gold medal. I think itll feel every bit as tense as a major and the crowds will be every bit as thick.
Hear people asking the question after Tigers 67, is it over? Come on, lets not go there.
Alright class, Alvaro Quiros at 190 centimeters and 83 kilos is 6'3 and 183 pounds. You knew that, right?